A great number of things can happen when precious goods are on transit to their final destination, and it is your job to make sure that your cargo does not make any emergency situation worse. This can easily be done by knowing how to properly load the cargo into your vehicle. Doing this makes a big difference when it comes to keeping yourself, your passengers, the vehicle and the cargo itself safe. Read on to find out the top five tips that will help you to properly load cargo into your vehicle and why it matters.

Watch the Weight

Just because you vehicle has enough space to fit a number of items and people, does not mean that you should pack anything without considering how much everything and everyone will weigh. An overloaded vehicle can be difficult to handle and very dangerous, especially on slippery roads where there is need for careful breaking and steering. Each vehicle has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), which you can find in your owner’s manual. To find out how much weight the vehicle can carry, you have to subtract the GVWR from the vehicles actual weight (curbside weight); the result is what you must not exceed when loading cargo.

Larger and Heavier Items Go First

It is very vital that the larger and heavier items be placed on the floor instead of on top so that the chances of the vehicle rolling over are minimized. This way, the center of gravity will be lower and you will not fear for your safety when making sharp turns. They must also be placed towards the front and center of the cargo area. This prevents the items from building momentum if you suddenly slam the brakes or crash, and it also makes sure that the back wheels are not weighed down, which can also cause handling difficulties.

Box Up Small and Loose Items

During emergency scenarios, like crashes or abrupt stops, small and loose items can turn into very deadly projectiles. This can cause serious head injuries or broken ribs or bones to you and any passengers that you may have on board. You could simply just place them on the floor and close enough to the other items so they do not move around. But a better alternative is to place them all in a box and secure it properly to the vehicle.

Tie the Cargo Down (Secure it)

If you are moving very bulky items in a pick-up truck, flatbed trailer or roof rack, securing them properly to your vehicle is vital to protecting everyone on board, the cargo and the vehicle. You can use ratchets straps, cum straps, ropes, tarps, bungee cord and many other tie down options to secure large or bulky cargo. Each option offers its own set of advantages, and it depends on the scenario you are in. If an effortless tie down with an impressive strength rating is needed for some very large cargo, then ratchet straps are the best option. If you need to something that will keep the cargo secure and protect it from a variety of adverse weather conditions, then a tarp will serve you well. Whatever tie down option you use, just make sure your cargo is secure.

Protect Smooth and Polished Surfaces

Protecting your vehicle’s floor, cargo area, trunk or deck is also important so that the smooth and polished surfaces don’t get any dents or scratches when loading and unloading your cargo. To protect them, the best way is to have their surfaces fitted with protective materials like cargo or trunk liners or mats. This is very important when you are using vehicles like minivans or SUVs.